Nov. 3, 2020
By Elizabeth Walker, Walmart Corporate Affairs
Parties cancelled. Travel plans put on hold. In the midst of a pandemic, many of the activities we associate with the holidays – caroling, big family gatherings, meeting under the mistletoe – are now enough to land a person on the naughty list. Many are asking, “How can we make the season feel special when we are doing basically the same thing we’ve been doing since March?”
For a lot of folks, the answer has been to create a little magic by incorporating seasonal décor into their spaces. “Customers are spending more time at home,” said Shelia Wiles, omni merchandise director for Walmart. “They are making holiday decorating a family event.”
Typically, Shelia and her team start scouting holiday trends a year in advance, visiting markets and paper shows in other parts of the world. Coronavirus has put a damper on the team’s travels this year, but their commitment to quality has not lessened.
Walmart has continued to elevate looks and quality at the value price customers are craving. They also changed they way items were presented in store and online.
Customers shop by color and lifestyle theme. They want the décor to tell a story.
So what story is the décor telling this season?
Bloggers, designers and influencers are leaning into the “cozy cabin” look, with lots of knits and woven materials. (Makes sense when many of us have been wearing loungewear for the last ten months.) Walmart’s take on the cozy cabin is “Christmas in the Mountains.” This look is a warm, natural scheme with inspirational touches like angels or hymnal lyrics.
The modern farmhouse style also shows no signs of slowing. Customers are low-key obsessed with old-timey red pickup trucks. In fact, Shelia reports that customers are loving all sorts of items with a vintage feel, like ceramic trees that look straight out of your grandmother’s living room.
Nostalgia is spreading to the exterior of the house, too. Expect to see a lot of warm C9 bulbs and blow molds in your neighbors’ displays. Shelia said inflatables of characters like the Grinch and Jack Skellington have been popular. That seems out of place with the nostalgia theme until you realize that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came out nearly thirty years ago (yikes!).
While the holiday season will no doubt be different this year, it could present an opportunity to try something new stylistically, or work on decking the halls to the nth degree. This year, there really is no place like home for the holidays. Why not make that home as comfortable – and joyful – as possible?